The wrestler-turned-actor uttered the political faux pas during a recent interview with a broadcaster in Taiwan, which Chinese authorities claim is a sovereign territory.
"Taiwan is the first country that can watch F9," he said at the time, in Mandarin, causing an uproar in China.
However, Cena is now walking back his terminology, and has expressed his sorrow to Chinese fans by issuing a video apology - also in Mandarin - on China's social media network Weibo.
The star, who has been learning the language for years, doesn't make direct reference to his original comments, but explains he had done "a lot of interviews" and "made a mistake."
He simply states, "I'm sorry for my mistake. I must say now, (it's) very, very, very, very important (that) I love, and respect even more, China and the Chinese people."
The Chinese box office has been monumental in the early success of "F9", which raced to a $136 million (£96 million) opening over the weekend (21-23May21), making it the first big Hollywood release to debut with over $100 million (£70.6 million) there since 2019's "Avengers: Endgame".
Cena, who boasts over 600,000 followers on Weibo, joined the cast of "F9" as Vin Diesel's onscreen brother.